Monday, October 12, 2015

The 70mm Version of "The Hateful Eight" to Have Alternative Cut

Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
It is likely that as Oscar season heats up, you're already marking your calendar of all the big films. Among the obvious selections is director Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. With a great first trailer, it looks to keep the eccentric director in top shape. With the film planned to also feature the widest 70mm film release in history, it's going to be special this winter. However, there's a new wrinkle to the release plan. If you're going to be seeing The Hateful Eight, there's a good chance that you will be seeing two different versions pop up. You can thank the 70mm release for that.

Everyone knows that Tarantino is a nostalgic film lover. For many, it's likely that this 70mm release will be their first exposure to the format. While Interstellar attempted to do something similar last year, it hasn't caused most people to go out of their way to try the same. Of course, most cinephiles don't have the privilege and are reduced to doing very limited runs, such as director Paul Thomas Anderson with The Master. But in this case, Tarantino has a trick up his sleeve that should make the extra trip worthwhile. You see, the 70mm cut is going to be little bit different from the regular version.

There have been a few screenings of the film over the past month, almost with unanimous applause. Along with that is the reveal that Tarantino is going cinematic with a use of intermission and overture music (which sounds great, since Ennio Morricone is involved). However, that's not the only thing that's going to be different. According to him, the 70mm version is going to be more of a big screen take on the film, with an extended six minutes that clocks the film in at three hours and two minutes, which would make it his longest film (previously held by Django Unchained). This doesn't include the intermission or overture.

When asked for his reasoning, Tarantino stated that:
“The 70 is the 70. You’ve paid the money. You’ve bought your ticket. So you’re there. I’ve got you. But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not that. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. Or you’re at Hot Dog on a Stick and you just want to catch a movie.”
It makes plenty of sense, even if it will likely be unfortunate for those who don't have access to 70mm showings. Of course, this isn't the director's first time at making exclusive big screen showings. In previous years, he released a special version of the two Kill Bill movies as one four hour experience called The Whole Bloody Affair, which he played at his theater The New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, California. While there are allegedly plans to release this on home video, no such product has been released. So, the chances of those wanting to see the 70mm cut at home are probably out of luck.

Either way, it's fun to have something different coming this awards season. While I worry that this may overshadow the quality of the movie, instead focusing on the passion for film format, I trust Tarantino well enough to release at least an enjoyable movie. He may not always be perfect, but he's always unique. I am likely not going to make it out to the 70mm showing, so let me know what you think of it if you do. Either way, it's already looking to be a great year for film. Fingers crossed that Tarantino can end it with a bang.

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